Discipleship: 10 Nuts and Bolts

Last week, I shared some thoughts about discipleship and helping us as believers realign our thinking about what it means. This week, I thought I’d offer some nuts and bolts ideas of what it really looks like in “real life” to disciple someone. Note that I believe that online discipleship is just as valid as in-person. The internet is full of real people.

As I also said last week, I believe discipleship begins the moment someone indicates an interest and continues after they have trusted Christ. So these tips should be useful for either a new believer or someone who is searching. Some of you may think these belong more on the side of evangelism than discipleship, and I’m okay with that!

1. Pray. It goes without saying, but sometimes in our enthusiasm we can leave it out. Pray to be available for and dependent upon God, pray for Him to bring people to you (or vice versa), pray to recollect the scriptures and explanations, pray for protection from spiritual attacks. Another good prayer is for the confidence and calm to know that it is the Holy Spirit who works in people, not your clever or perfect words or your persuasion.

And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. [1 Cor. 2:1-5 ESV]

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Refresh Friday

“Many people believe that the power of God in a person’s life should keep him from all trials and conflicts. However, the power of God actually brings conflict and struggles. You would think that Paul, during his great missionary journey to Rome, would have been kept by God’s sovereignty from the power of violent storms and of his enemies. Yet just the opposite was true. He endured one long, difficult struggle with the Jews who were persecuting him. He faced fierce winds, poisonous snakes, and all the powers of earth and of hell….and more!

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Photo credit: wallpaperest.com

Does this sound like a God of infinite power? Yes, it is just like Him. And that is why Paul told us that once he took the Lord Jesus Christ as his life in his body, a severe conflict immediately arose. In fact, the conflict never ended. The pressure on Paul was persistent, but from the conflict he always emerged victorious through the strength of Jesus Christ.”

— from Streams in the Desert, L.B. Cowman

For your storms, your trials, your perplexities today, the things you wish you were not facing, for the heartbreaks and struggles of the recent or distant past, for the happenings in your life that you can’t yet understand…I pray for you to know the strength and presence of Jesus Christ. Take heart, He is with you, He will never leave you, He knows what you are going through, He will enable you to persevere by His grace.